Banks choose Latham for massive Wind bond issue

Latham & Watkins is putting preparations in place for one of the biggest European high-yield bond issues to date.

The bond will be issued by Wind, the Italian telecoms company which earlier this year was bought by Weather Investments in Europe’s largest-ever leveraged buyout (LBO).

Wind launched a roadshow for the bond last week, taking in the US and Europe. It is hoping to raise €1.25bn (£850m) in a two-tranche deal denominated in euros and US dollars. The bond issue will be governed by New York law and will be issued under 144A regulations. The high-yield note is reportedly the third-largest high-yield issue in Europe.

The proceeds from the bond will be used to refinance a bridging loan taken out by Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian businessman who owns Weather.

Latham is advising the three-bank syndicate of ABN Amro, Deutsche Bank and Sampaolo IMI that put together the debt package for the LBO, including the €1.25bn bond issue led by corporate partner Rich Trobman. Allen & Overy (A&O) is also advising the banks on the Italian aspects of the bond issue.

Weather’s purchase of Wind from Enel in the summer was the biggest LBO in Europe. Weather saw off a rival bid from a consortium led by Blackstone by tabling a €12.2bn (£8.26bn) offer. Dewey Ballantine advised Weather, while Italian firm Chiomenti Studio Legale advised Enel. A&O and Latham represented the lenders on the LBO.